Hi everyone! Thanks so much for celebrating with me today, on the release of Immortal Surrender. I thought we’d kick things off the fun way and dive right in with a little interview from the heroine, Noelle.
Claire: In the beginning you didn’t believe in the Almighty. When did you realize and accept that you had started to believe?
Noelle: Well, it didn’t hurt any that I had a big strong hunk trying to hammer the truth into me for starters. Immersion learning? Yup. But really, that whole arm torc thing. There was a specific event that really made the truth impossible to ignore, even though I wanted to. Man, did I ever want to.
Claire: That begs the question, why?
Noelle: (She laughs softly.) What if it was all true: that I was paired with a guy who admitted he’d rather have a whore? Eternally paired. I didn’t want to like Farran, or fall in love. Not with such heartbreak promised.
Claire: At first you thought that all the Templar knights, plus Anne, were completely looney. What did you think of their "game" as you saw it?
Noelle: It was pretty ridiculous at first. Really, who would believe in knights who are immortal, led by archangels, fighting Azazel. Particularly if you were kidnapped—would you just jump in and say, “Okay, cool! Let’s go.”
Claire: ell us about Farran.
Noelle: He’s not going to hear about this is he? Don’t tell him I said so, but he’s just a big softie underneath that hard shell. He’s as tough-guy as they get, and I wouldn’t want to be the person who truly crossed him. But beyond all the armor, the sword, the fighting and commitment to duty… I couldn’t ask for a better man. It took us a while to get things all sorted into place. Now—he’d die for me, and I for him.
Claire: That’s really enviably sweet. Did you get the chance to know any of the other knights?
Noelle: A few yes. Merrick is ferocious with a sword. (Noelle chuckles.) Lucan is a bit unsettling, unless you like Chivalry and all of that. Which, trust me, I can do without. I ran into Tane here and there. I’m still meeting and learning names and faces. There’s so many, both here in the States and over in Europe.
Claire: How do you deal with the mixture of religion/belief and scientific fact? Does it affect your work?
Noelle: Science is still science. Nothing changes about chemical compositions and reactions. Amonia plus chlorine is still going to kill you if you breathe too much. For me, there’s just a different outlook in how it all came to be, and the universe we exist in. The supportive evidence, if you will. And shoot, it at least answers a few of the things I haven’t been able to prove with math and formulas. But that’s me. It may not work for everyone.
About The Curse of the Templars
The Curse of the Templars 2
Tor Books, September 25, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 448 pages
Farran de Clare, loyal member of the cursed Knights Templar, wants nothing to do with predestined mates. Even the Almighty won’t turn him into a fool again—he’d rather sacrifice his soul. Yet in the scientist Noelle Keane, a devout atheist, Farran meets the seraph designed for him.
Ordered by the archangel Gabriel to protect Noelle, the possessor of a sacred relic that could give Azazel incredible power, Farran swears to do his duty—but in name only. Fighting an attraction that grows with each day, he’s determined that he’ll never pledge himself to her.
As they war over her future, their mutual passion ignites a conflict far more damning. But before Noelle will agree to eternity with him, she demands the ultimate sacrifice – his heart.
“This series (The Curse of the Templars) is explosive, sexy, riveting, and Claire Ashgrove is a master of her craft.” ~ NYTimes Bestselling Author, Maggie Shayne
“Damnation,” he hissed through clenched teeth.Immortal Hope
He stalked back to the bed. No longer concerned for her injuries, he snatched up her fingers and inspected the scar once more. Nay, his eyes did not play tricks. She bore a dagger on her hand. It matched his as if someone had miniaturized the eighteen-inch-long weapon and scalded it into her flesh.
She belonged to him.
The door opened, and Farran’s head snapped up. He returned Louise’s pleasant smile with a glare. “You may undress the wench.” He shouldered past the aging caretaker, ignoring the way she spluttered.
So Gabriel sought to pair him with a maid, did he? ‘Twas no wonder the archangel did not forewarn him of her nature. Gabriel well knew Farran would rather swallow his own sword.
He took the stairs two at a time, in desperate need of fresh air. His fingers twitched with the need to pummel something. A seraph! His seraph! God’s teeth, would he be allowed no mercy? Could he not just leave this world and be done with life?
In the wide front room, Farran braced his hands on the table and squeezed his eyes shut tight. Duty bound him to accept the pairing. With the oaths they were fated to take, the Templar would gain much needed strength. Much as he would like nothing more, he could not walk away from the woman in the bed upstairs.
And yet . . .he did not have to stay either.
“Brother? Is something amiss?” Lucan’s voice drifted down the stairs.
Farran turned around and raised his glower to Lucan’s face. “You will go to her apartment. Fetch her cat. Fetch her things. Deliver them all to Mikhail.”
Lucan’s gaze narrowed with suspicion. “I trust you do not seek to have the maid to yourself?”
“Nay!” God’s teeth, nay. He would no more touch her now than he would touch a snake. He would say his oath, deliver her to the temple, and leave with the first light.
Cocking his head, Lucan studied him. Slow dawning filtered into his expression, and he answered with a thoughtful nod. “You recognize her mark. I shall have her mate sent here.”
Farran exhaled through his teeth. At his thigh, he clenched a hand into a tight fist. “There is no need for such.”
“Farran, you cannot be serious. She must be paired at once. ’Tis written—”
“She is mine, Lucan.” With the vile truth exposed, Farran stormed out the door.
The Curse of the Templars 1
Tor Books, January 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
Centuries ago, Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll that revealed the locations of the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they now roam the earth, protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation—the return of the seraphs.
Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin’s soul, releasing him from the clutches of their enemy. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers that she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she’s fated to heal. As Merrick struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he’s sworn to uphold.
Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs—and awakens a soul-deep ache that he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she is destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.
She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, and her local RWA chapters, Heartland Romance Authors, Midwest Romance Writers, and North Texas Romance Writers of America.
Claire lives in Missouri with her two sons and too-many horses, cats, and dogs. In her “free” time, she enjoys cooking, winning at Rummy, studying Ancient Civilizations, and spending quiet moments with her family, including the critters.
To learn more about Claire, visit her on the web at www.claireashgrove.com, or www.toristclaire.com. You can also connect with her via Facebook, and Twitter.
What: One commenter will win a copy of Immortal Surrender (The Curse of the Templars 2) from The Qwillery.
How: Answer the following questions:
Do you have any favorite stories, movies, comics that feature Knights
(Templar or other)?
Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.
You may receive additional entries by:
1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.
2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.
There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.
Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.
Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, October 2, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Claire is giving away one digital copy of any one of her backlist books, excepting those in the Templar series, to one randomly drawn commenter at each stop on the blog tour. In addition, commenters’ names will be added into the tour-end drawing of a 25.00 Amazon gift card. Follow the tour – the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. Complete tour dates can be found here.